U.S. helps move WTO Trade Facilitation pact forward

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2015 - The U.S. has formally accepted the World Trade Organization's so-called Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), an accord designed to cut red tape among trading partners and which is projected to generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity.

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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman formally delivered the U.S. letter of acceptance today to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo in Davos, Switzerland. The U.S. is the third WTO member to follow through with a letter of acceptance. TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO's 160 Members submit instruments of acceptance.

“The agreement will unlock immense commercial opportunities for all developing and developed countries alike,” Froman said in a news release. “These benefits can only be fully realized with implementation of this agreement. We all want to start enjoying the benefits and we hope other members will take this crucial next step as soon as possible.”

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The TFA, which was agreed to at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013, is the first multilateral agreement to be concluded since the WTO's inception 20 years ago.

Froman said the U.S. is now working with developing countries to help support the TFA.

“In fact, we are already considering how to best support countries who are committed to implementation - teaming up with other governments and the private sector.”

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